Social Media Analytics Blog

Facebook Country Statistics: Major Turnaround Of The Data Provided By Facebook Ads Data

Facebook Country StatisticsThanks to an email of one of our users this morning we became aware of fundamental changes of the numbers in our Facebook country statistics section. As noted several times, our Facebook countries statistics are based on the Facebook advertising data. Just recently there have been a lot of discussions regarding these statistics. The accusation was that the country stats sourced via the Facebook advertising data didn’t represent the real amount of Facebook users for certain countries. And indeed, we also reported the obvious differences of user numbers between the official Facebook quarterly earnings report and the numbers shown in the Facebook advertising data.

For example, Facebook officially reported a total user number of 1,11 billion for the first quarter of 2013. Back then the ads data reported a total user number of 982 million instead. So, there was a rough difference of nearly 150 million users. Our conclusion was then, that country stats like ours can be seen as rough estimates and to get the exact user numbers you need to check the official Facebook reports.

Facebook Country Statistics Changes

But now, it seems that Facebook changed the user numbers in the ads data significantly. As of today our Facebook country statistics shows a total user count for the world of 1,060,067,980. That’s an extensive plus of over 78 million or 7.94% of new users within just a month. Every country in the top 10 seems to have added one million or more users. It is further noteworthy that now only rounded totals are displayed.

Major Turnaround Facebook Country Statistics

We want to play it safe and therefore we compared the total number of users in the USA and Brazil of our stats directly with the numbers on Facebook. Just create an ad in this countries and you get the numbers.

Facebook AdsAudience United States

Date: 06/26/2013

Facebook Ads Audience Brazil

Date: 06/26/2013

 As you can see, you get exactly the same numbers like shown in our Facebook country statistics.

The biggest users correction was done for the United States with over 9 million new users. Furthermore, notable user increases were made for Japan with nearly 4.8 million new accounts, that’s a plus of 34.58% and Nigeria with a percentage plus of 41.46%.

The Million (Dollar) User Question

The biggest question remains: Are the Facebook country statistics based on ads data now compliant with the official earning reports?

What do you think of it? Are the country statistics a great indicator for the Facebook usage in certain countries again?

Facebook Country Stats June 2013: Is This The Summer Break?

quintly Free Facebook Country Statistics

After some fuss about the accuracy of the Facebook country stats things are back to normal now. Some providers considered to change the presentation of these stats or even ended to show Facebook country estimates to public visitors. But we still want to give everyone the chance to get rough estimates of the sizes of Facebook users all over the world and for any existing country. Again, to get really exact numbers it is advisable to check the official quarterly reports of Facebook. Our numbers are based on Facebook advertising data and therefore they should give a pretty good overview.

But let us return to the topic at hand.

The Facebook Country Stats Of June 2013

As always we will start with the overview of the top 10 Facebook countries.

quintly Facebook Stats June Top 10 Countries

Also regarding the user growth and loss, it has become rather quiet in recent weeks. Five countries lost a low amount of its users base and the other five countries of our top 10 attracted a few new users. The Philippines had the highest loss with a minus of 0.26%. Mexico had the largest increase with a plus of 0.44% for new users. But both the gains and losses were less than one percent. Even the booming Brazil, which added millions of new users every month within the last months, hit the brake and the user growth was only 0.16%.

Worldwide Facebook attracted at least over 3 million new users, in total there are nearly 983 million Facebook users now. Of course, the Facebook country stats are based on the ads data.

What do you think? Will the Facebook user growth slow down even more or is this really a kind of summer break?

Facebook Country Statistics May 2013 – Rough Estimates Or Something?

quintly Free Facebook Country StatisticsThere were quite a lot of discussions about the Facebook country statistics and user numbers in the last month. Again, it was about the recurring question of whether Facebook is losing millions of users or not. The whole story was heated up by an article in the British Guardian. They headlined that “Facebook loses millions of users as biggest markets peak.” As reasons for this user loss especially in developed countries, they identified new social networks like Path and Instagram and, of course, a Facebook fatigue. Then there were some contradictions that this story can’t be true because of the fact that Facebook country statistics are not actually equal to the real number of Facebook users.

Virtually at the right time Facebook released its quarterly earnings for the first quarter of this year. In this report you can read something completely different from all the sources that stated Facebook is losing a lot of users, particularly in the US and the U.K. In this context, TechCrunch was not too bad for a derisive comment to this regard: “Another important stat is that Facebook’s monthly active and daily active users in the US and Canada increased, despite erroneous recent claims from third-party data providers and critics that Facebook had lost users in US.”

The Difference Between Facebook Advertising Data And Official Facebook Quarterly Earnings

Facebook Quarterly Earnings Q1 2013 Monthly Active Users

This stacked bar chart shows the development of monthly active Facebook user from the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of the current year. According to this slide Facebook has more than 1,11 billion monthly active users. Furthermore you can easily see that the numbers for US & Canada, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world are constantly growing. Of course, the user growth of the US & Canada has clearly slowed down. But there is no user loss in sight.

Facebook Country Statistics May 2013 - Worldwide User Numbers

Comparing the official figures of Facebook from the first quarter with the appropriate numbers of the Facebook country statistics with the Facebook advertising data as source, the difference between those numbers is finally obvious. Facebook reports 1,11 billion users at the end of the first quarter, the advertising data reports a user count of 965 million users. So there is a rough difference of nearly 150 million users.

For comparison: The well-known local review app Yelp recently breaks the number of 100 million unique visitors, social dating app Badoo has more than 172 million members and messaging app Nimbuzz currently hits the 150 million user mark.

In terms of Facebook figures the difference between official user numbers and Facebook ads data isn’t that big, but it looks quite extreme in relation to other well-known social networks and services.

Conclusion – there is indeed a big difference between data from Facebook ads and the Facebook earning graph data. Nothing new for the most marketing and media people in the world, since it’s a matter of common knowledge that all the Facebook country statistics data from external tool and data providers is based on Facebook ads data. And this advertising data can be seen as rough estimates for the Facebook country statistics. No more, no less. Only if you check the official earning call numbers of Facebook you are able to get the exact statistics for monthly and daily active Facebook users.

Facebook Country Statistics May 2013 – Still Worth A Look

Facebook Country Statistics Top 10 Countries

For May 2013 the tide has turned a bit. Except for the U.K. and Germany all other countries experienced a user growth again. But Germany only lost 0.12% of its users while the United Kingdom lost 264k users in total. Therefore nothing special. Furthermore Brazil stays to be the biggest winner in case of adding new users constantly. As already written the growth potential of Brazil seems to be unbroken.

But one more thing:

Age And Gender Distribution Of All Facebook Users Worldwide

Whoops – If you check the global figures, it currently doesn’t look like that the youth leaves Facebook in droves. Young males between 18-24 years are still the strongest user group on Facebook. Followed by men between 25-34 years and females between 18-24 years.

How do you use the Facebook country statistics for your Facebook marketing?

Facebook Country Stats April 2013 – The U.S., The Fatigue And The Youth Problem

quintly Free Facebook Country StatsThe voices are growing louder that young users, so to speak the new generation, increasingly puts less value on Facebook. Especially platforms like Tumblr or apps like Snapchat are currently enjoying great popularity among teenagers. It is also often assumed that the next generation puts more emphasis on privacy and therefore limits the personal usage of Facebook.

Additionally, especially in Facebook’s country of origin, the United States, and often also in other industrialized countries many older generations are represented. Apparently quite a lot young people are kind of uncomfortable with the fact that their parents are maybe able to read along everything they post.

In general these are all rather guesses since the user base of the United States seems to be leveling off instead of highly shrinking. Facebook itself continues to optimize the user experience and of course, this way also its monetary interests. Especially the last month brought some notable innovations. First of all, the good old news feed got completely redesigned. This is the first overhaul for the news feed since its introduction in September 2006! According to the slogan ‘Goodbye Clutter’ Facebook now aspires to be a personalized newspaper. Next to that the user Timeline also got a revamped look and several improvements for showing different content categories and likes.

Like the Graph Search, Facebook is currently rolling out the new news feed only gradually and randomly. The new Timeline should already be activated for most of the users. In general this innovations are focusing again on the importance of images – bigger images. On the one hand this is again a reaction to booming social networks like Pinterest, Instagram and others and on the other hand, this could also be seen as a reaction to the young generation problem.

And just yesterday Facebook introduced its own Android Launcher called Facebook Home and the HTC first Phone. Instead of building a completely separate mobile phone, Facebook Home is nested deep into the Android system. With features like Cover Feed, Chat Heads and Notifications, Facebook gets an omnipresent integration into your mobile experience if you are using an Android device. Of course Facebook Home is a very significant step in the direction of the seemingly disinterested teenagers.

But finally to the hard facts – what are the Facebook country stats for April?

Facebook Country Stats April 2013

Facebook Country Stats April 2013 Top10

Naturally the number of active Facebook users has always been subject to relatively strong fluctuations. However in case of the Unites States and the United Kingdom a loss of over 2.2% is kind of notable. Emerging countries such as Brazil, India, Indonesia and Mexico continue to grow inexorably. But also for these countries the user growth has slowed down a bit. A total loss of 0.20% of the worldwide Facebook users is certainly not worth mentioning.

Just in the last overview of the Facebook Country Stats for March we have deeper analyzed and compared the user development of the U.S. and Brazil. This time we just want to focus on the U.S. due to the mentioned guesses at the beginning of this post.

quintly Facebook Country Stats U.S. 1 Year Window

Checking the Facebook user development for over a year, the U.S. is still in the plus with 2.47% more users than on the 3. April 2012. However, the current number of active users is almost at the same level of mid-June 2012. In this chart quite clearly to see is that the tipping point for the positive development of active users was at the end of December 2012. Here, Facebook had nearly 170 million active users in the United States.

Since our Facebook Country Stats are generated using the public data from Facebook Advertising, it is also worth to take a look at web traffic analytics tools like Compete. The development of unique visitors from the U.S., according to Compete.

In the above chart it’s not that clear as in our chart. The number of unique user are slightly falling in February of this year. However, there is no such clear bend like above.

The question now if of course, wether this is a level off of the user ratios, or whether the numbers will fall further in the future. As explained earlier, Facebook is currently trying everything possible to convince the next  generations to use its social network. In fact, there are many different factors influencing the activity of the user. Research company Pew internet describes the Coming and Going on Facebook with quite a lot of interesting results. Here it gets clear that 38% of the  people in the age group of 18 and 29 years want to spend less time on Facebook. But 61% of these people don’t want to change their activity.

In this regard, it’s worth to control those results with data from Alexa. In the one year time period the time spend on the site looks quite stable with around 27 minutes in average.

Time On Facebook From Alexa

It will be fascinating this year to see where the journey goes for Facebook. There are a lot of new features and innovations on the go, but at least the success of these depends on us – the users.

What do you think? Is the Facebook fatigue already ubiquitous in industrialized countries? Does the youth of today really turn away from Facebook? Or are these only normal network processes and everything will settle by itself?

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